I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification

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The Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification is one of the essential new hire forms that should be included in your New Hire Packet (along with the W-4 Form and in Pennsylvania, a Residency Certification Form).   The purpose of this form is to document that each new employee (both citizen and noncitizen) hired after November 6, 1986 is authorized to work in the United States.  All employees hired after that date and work in the United States MUST complete this form no later than the time of hire, which is the actual beginning of employment.

Employers cannot specify which document(s) listed on the last page of the Form I-9 employees present to establish identity and employment authorization.  Employees may present any List A document OR a combination of a List B and a List C document.

Employers may, but are not required to, photocopy the document(s) presented.  If photocopies are made, they must be made for ALL new hires.   Photocopies may only be used for the verification process and must be retained with the Form I-9.  Employers are still responsible for completing and retaining Form I-9.

The Form I-9 must be retained by the employer and made available for inspection by U.S. Government officials.  It is recommended that all the I-9 Forms be retained in a binder or a folder for this reason and not in each individual employee’s file.  Employers must retain completed Form I-9’s for three (3) years AFTER the date of hire or one year AFTER the date employment ends, whichever is later.  Form I-9’s may be signed and retained electronically.